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Sopwith Aviation Company and its products through 1916

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BerichtGeplaatst: 08 Feb 2019 19:23    Onderwerp: Sopwith Aviation Company and its products through 1916 Reageer met quote

The Sopwith Aviation Company starts 1916 with its Kingston factory full of Sopwith Baby floatplanes, the first five in this photograph fitted with their 110hp Clerget engines ready for delivery. The other six are apparently complete waiting for floats and engines.

This photograph shows the full length of the factory along the north side of Canbury Park Road. The offices are on the left and there is a two-storey Saw Mill and Carpenters Shop behind the photographer. Ide and Son are building a 20,000 sq ft two-storey workshop extension behind the wall on the right which includes a Doping Shop and a Garage.

One hundred yards up the road in the experimental workshop in the old Roller Skating Rink Tommy Sopwith has taken the risk to start building two more of the 110hp “LCT 1½ Strutter” two-seat landplanes. There must be great confidence in that design after the initial flight testing of the prototype at Brooklands. In another private venture they are also working on a single-seat 80hp scout combining the best features of Harry Hawker’s 50hp “SLTBP” runabout and the “LCT 1½ Strutter”.

The “LCT” is the first design to carry the name of Herbert Smith, now Chief Designer, but both new types owe much to previous designs by Harry Hawker and Fred Sigrist and the contribution of new ideas from them, from Tommy Sopwith and from the small but experienced drawing office and experimental workshop teams.

At least six December built new “Schneider” floatplanes Nos.3770 to 3775 have been rushed to seaplane carrier HMS Empress and by 3rd January 1916 are on their way to the East Indies and Egypt Seaplane Squadron (EI&ESS) at Port Said. Since 1914 the Royal Navy has been using Nieuport VI monoplane floatplanes in collaboration with the French when attacking Turkish supply lines around the Eastern Mediterranean.

Meanwhile the first completely new “Type 806” pusher gunbus No. 3836 built under sub-contact by Robey & Sons of Lincoln has been tested and accepted by Sopwith at Brooklands and on 3rd January is delivered to RNAS Detling in Kent. That same day Fl Sub Lt D E Smith damages the chassis and propeller.

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